The US, concerned about the proliferation of attempts to depose President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), has told lawmakers in Taiwan that it wants Chen to remain in power for the sake of stability in the country, local media reports said yesterday.
The US conveyed the message through Stephen Young, director of the Taipei Office of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the Chinese-language China Times and the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister paper) reported.
Young has met with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and several other lawmakers regarding the anti-Chen movement and expressed Washington's position on the issue, the newspapers said.
Young said the issue was an internal affair of Taiwan's and the US does not want to get involved. But unless there was evidence proving Chen was involved in the series of financial and corruption scandals he has been accused of, he should remain in power for the sake of stability, Young is reported to have said.
"The US position is that Taiwan should maintain its status quo," the Liberty Times quoted Young as saying.
While some of Chen's aides and his son-in-law have been indicted, Chen has insisted that he and his immediate family are innocent.
Meanwhile, Chen, faced with corruption accusations and a campaign to oust him, yesterday dealt with a lighter subject, calling on parents to spend more time with their children.
Chen offered an anecdote concerning his four-year-old grandson, Chao Yi-an (趙翊安), to illustrate the importance of family values and the relationships between parents and their children.
Chen told staffers who had brought their children to work on the Presidential Office's "bring-your-family-to-work" day that Chao was crying the previous night because he could not find his father for two days nor could he talk to him on the phone. Chao even refused to play with him, Chen said.
"The relationship between parents and their children is irreplaceable," Chen said. "When I was young, I did not have much chance to be with my children because of my work. Although I have more time to be with my grandsons now, I cannot replace their father."
Chen's son-in-law, Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘), has been keeping a low profile since he was freed on bail following his indictment in connection with an insider-trading scandal. Chen's daughter Chen Hsing-yu (陳幸妤) was spotted by the media on Wednesday moving boxes of belongings out of the apartment she and her husband share on Minsheng East Road.
Speculation has mounted that Chen Hsing-yu is moving out to rent an apartment to make way for her brother, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中) and his wife, Huang Jui-ching (黃睿靚), who is reportedly four or five months pregnant. Huang has been staying with the president and first lady since the couple returned from the US on Aug. 4.